Real Estate

Save Energy In Your Home

Patricia Parnell shares with us her article, from the Parkwood Homeowners Newsletter, for saving energy at home. 

Clipart used with permission by  Dominiquechappard

Clipart used with permission by Dominiquechappard

Planning ahead can save you money and alleviate frustration with high utility bills. Here are some tips to protect your hard earned dollars.

·         Remove window air conditioners for winter , if it cannot be removed, weatherize with a properly fitted cover

·         Keep all vents (AC, heating) free from debris

·         Replace Screens with storm glass

·         Replace heat filters monthly

·         Do not block vents with furniture

·         Save 10% on energy costs when you install weather-stripping or caulk leaky doors and windows and install gaskets behind outlet covers

·         Leave your thermostat at one temperature (around 77) and leave it alone when running the AC. It takes more energy to heat or cool an area than it does to maintain a constant temp

·         In winter, set your thermostat about 68. For every degree you lower your heat, you save up to 5% in heating costs. At night turn heat down to 55 but never below 50.

·         Open window coverings in the daytime to let the sun heat your home and close them at sundown to insulate.

·         Rearrange your furniture so you are sitting by interior walls. The temperature is more constant on interior walls.

·         Close doors to other parts of the house and turn down the thermostat when using the fireplace.

·         Remember that fireplaces lose up to 8% of your energy. Keep damper closed when not in use.

·         Replace incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs. They use 75% less energy.

·         Turn kitchen and bathroom ventilating fans off after use.

·         A 2nd Refrigerator can add as much as 10-15% to your energy bill.

·         Only use your self-cleaning feature when your oven is already hot.

·         Drain a bucketful of water from the water heater several times a year to protect against mineral build-up.

·         Use cold water to wash clothes and reduce the washer's energy use by 75%.

Remembering Neil

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our own Neil Culbertson. Neil suffered a severe heart-attack on July 4th and did not recover. It was a devastating shock to us all.

Neil has been with BrokersGroup Real Estate since it’s beginning in 2007. Loved by all of us here at BG and a friend to many others in the real estate community, Neil will be missed dearly. Known for his positive attitude, hard work and commitment to his clients, Neil brought to this office so much more than we could ever have imagined. His love of music inspired him to co-found Jazz in the Alley, an event BrokersGroup has been excited to sponsor and something we look forward to every summer. Celebrating it’s 9th year this Lavender Weekend, JITA will not be the same without him. A musician at heart, Neil was encouraged to continue his passion for music when he was asked to join the Buck Ellard Band. We have all enjoyed the numerous musical events Neil brought into our lives, and are immensely blessed to be considered ‘family’ by him and his wife Beverly. There is no one who will ever take Neil’s place in our hearts. I wish the goodbye’s of this life didn’t hurt so much, but I know you’re in a better place Neil and I hope you and Beverly know just how much you’ll be missed by your family here at BrokersGroup.


Patricia - Our Parkwood Expert

Parkwood Sequim

Patricia Parnell is our office Parkwood expert. Not only did she list more houses in Parkwood than any other realtor last year, but she has helped BrokersGroup Real Estate lead the way with more listings and sales in Parkwood than any other brokerage for the 2014 year. If you live in Parkwood you probably already know Patricia. Her friendly and outgoing personality make her an asset to the Parkwood community and to BrokersGroup. Each month the Parkwood Community publishes 'ParkWord' a community newsletter. Patricia is a frequent contributor to the newsletter with articles pertaining to home ownership. We'd like to share those articles with you here on our blog so that those who live outside of Parkwood can benefit from them as well. For those of you who do receive the newsletter, you can easily refer to past articles here.  

090624-007  by  OlympicNF  is licensed under  CC BY 2.0

090624-007 by OlympicNF is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Getting a Quality Roofing Job - by Patricia Parnell

Several quality checks will help you ensure a leakproof job for decades.

  • Replacing valley and eaves flashing is cheapest and easiest when reroofing, so do it now. Also have pipe boots or roof jacks replaced to direct away water where pipes or gas vents protrude. Leave chimney flashing alone if it’s in good shape.
  • Now is also the time to make sure you have proper attic ventilation. Have it checked by the roofer or an HVAC contractor. Poor airflow can heat an attic to 130°F in summer. In winter, moist interior air can condense on the underside of the sheathing, rotting it. You may want to have ridge and soffit vents installed to circulate cool air into the attic, alleviating both problems.
  • If you suspect some of the plywood decking beneath the shingles is rotted, put a small allowance, say $200, in the contract for replacing it. Clearly state that you must approve any charges above this amount, and that you get the money back if the decking is in good condition.
  • Ask how the roofer will protect bushes and plants (roofers usually use plywood). Draw clear lines of responsibility for any damaged plants.
  • Find out how the trash will be disposed of and nails picked up. Be sure dumpsters or trucks used for garbage pickup don’t roll onto a new lawn or over an underground sprinkler system. What’s more, there should be thick plywood under Dumpster or truck wheels to protect the turf or driveway. An alternative is to pay extra and have the old shingles carted by hand to the curb.

Finally, trust your intuition. If a roofer rubs you wrong, even at the contract stage, don’t be afraid to back out before signing and resume your search. Unless water is pouring in overhead, it pays to take your time on this major investment.


Composition Roof, What does that mean?

Asphalt shingles are the most popular type of roofing for homes, comprising over 80% of residential roofing market.

  • Materials: Made of either an organic paper fiber mat (better for cold weather and wind resistance) or fiberglass (more fire and moisture resistant) impregnated with asphalt and coated with mineral granules.
  • Appearance: Available in traditional 3-tab shingles or thicker laminated “architectural” shingles.
  • Eco-Friendly: Petroleum based product that’s not eco-friendly. Can be recycled, though often taken to landfills.
  • Weight: Moderate in weight.
  • Slope: Can be used on fairly low to steeper sloped roofs.
  • Fire & Wind: Good fire resistance, fair wind resistance.
  • Cost: Inexpensive to moderate.